An E-mail came across my desk recently. It was from one of the many employee benefit-consulting firms and information services that have uncovered my e-mail address and bombard me with information.
This one had some startling advice.
It advised employers to deny all applicants for the COBRA subsidy.
Why, you ask.
Well, it seems that our federal government speaks with forked tongue on whether to make it easier for recently unemployed workers to continue their health insurance.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) says that employees who are involuntarily terminated can apply for COBRA continuation coverage. If they have been involuntarily terminated, they become an Assistance Eligible Individual (AEI to the cognoscente).
An AEI (you are now part of the cognoscente) pays 35% of the normal COBRA premium – a fairly substantial premium subsidy, although for the unemployed, still a hefty burden. Continue reading